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Red Velvet Cupcakes

12 Mar

As you all might know, I am a huge fan of Nigella Lawson. Imagine my shock and gleefulness when I received her latest book as my Christmas gift last year. By far, this is the best work she has ever come up with. Apart from the fact that I had to substitute the non-halal ingredients, I managed to bake/cook two recipes to huge success.

Maybe, just maybe, I should attempt a “Julie & Julia” aye 😉

From what I heard, red velvet cupcakes are normally served during Valentine’s Day and Christmas Day. I ain’t too sure on how true that is but I am very curious as to how it’d taste. When I browsed through Nigella Kitchen, I was indeed happy to see a recipe for the red velvet cupcakes. So, I finally plucked enough courage to attempt this for my baby cousin’s first birthday last weekend.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 7 tablespoons soft unsalted butter (est. 100 gm)
  • 1 cup fine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cherry red food colouring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line the muffin pans with paper muffin cups.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. In the mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, beating well. When you have a soft, pale mixture, beat in the food colouring – yes, all of it – and the vanilla.

Into this vividly coloured mixture, still beating, add 1 spoonful of the dry ingredients, then 1 egg, followed by some more dry ingredients, then the other egg, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients. Finally, beat in the buttermik and vinegar and divide this batter between 24 cups in the prepared pans. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Leave them to cool on a wire rack and do not ice with the frosting (see below) till absolutely cold.

Buttery Cream-Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 400 gm icing sugar
  • 125 gm Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup soft unsalted butter (est. 115 gm)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • Chocolate rice and red sugar, for decoration (optional)

Directions

Put the icing sugar into a processor and whizz to remove lumps.

Add the cream cheese and butter and process to mix. Pour in the cider vinegar (or lemon juice) and process again to make a smooth frosting.

Frost each cupcake, using a teaspoon or small frosting spatula. In my case, I used a piping bag and VOILA! Looks very pretty indeed 🙂

Decorate with chocolate rice and red sugar, or as desired.

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Choconana Cupcakes

6 Nov

I used to bake plenty of cupcakes a couple of years ago, after attending a workshop organised by the workplace. But I failed miserably at the frosting, really. But my lovely friends have given me recipe books on cupcakes and the beautiful pictures really inspire me to continue baking and get the frosting to be just right. Since I had some balance bananas from the pancakes which I did for breakfast, I decided to try out a new recipe from a book which I’ve received on my 30th birthday.

The recipe is indeed easy and I can say the same applies to the cream cheese frosting. The subtle flavour of banana perfectly complements the cream cheese frosting, so let me introduce you to the Choconana Cupcakes 🙂

Ingredients

  • 225 gm (8 oz) butter, softened
  • 200 gm (7 oz) caster sugar
  • 200 gm (7 oz) sifted plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 100 gm (3 1/2 oz) dark chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 250 gm (9 oz) cream cheese
  • 200 gm (7 oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 banana, thinly sliced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Place 18 (or more) paper baking cups in muffin pans.

Combine the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs and nutmeg in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in the mashed bananas and chocolate chips until well combined. Spoon the batter into the cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pans from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.

To make the frosting, slowly beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until it is soft and smooth. Add the icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat briskly until smooth and well combined. Swirl the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Decorate each cupcake with a banana slice.